Created: November 14, 2019 06:22 PM
SANTA FE, N.M.—Prosecutors have dropped the case against a former Santa Fe teacher’s assistant who was accused of molesting one of his students.
Prosecutors are unable to move forward with the case because the young victim’s mother said it would be too traumatizing for her daughter to testify against the suspect, Sergio Muterperl.
The teacher’s assistant at Atalaya Elementary School was initially charged with molesting a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old student, but those charges were later dropped.
In April 2018, a grand jury indicted Muterperl on seven counts only involving allegations against the 9-year-old girl, which include sexual penetration of a minor.
This case is an example of why Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez said the laws need to be changed so children who are victims of sex crimes are not forced into interrogations by defense attorneys.
“We have a real problem inside the criminal justice system,” Torrez said. “We are not living up to our best selves. We need to do better and do more for victims of crime.”
Prosecutors said they can still re-file the charges if the victim is eventually able to help with the prosecution.
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